Simeone bracing up for Solari’s reunion

Diego Simeone
MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 27: Coach Diego Pablo Simeone of Atletico de Madrid reacts prior to start the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Real Sociedad de Futbol at Wanda Metropolitano stadium on October 27, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is looking forward to a reunion with Real Madrid head coach Santiago Solari when they clash this weekend.

Both sides will cancel each other out when they trade tackles at the Wanda Metropolitano in the bid to maintain the chase for the La Liga title.

Solari played under Simeone at San Lorenzo and will reunite with his old boss for the first time in Saturday’s clash.

“I’ve known him for a long time,” Simeone told a media conference via FourFourTwo. “I was his coach at the end of his career, he gave us a lot of class and hierarchy at that time.

“As Argentinians, we meet in some common places, we go to eat. I think he is capable and he proved he can do his job, and that as Argentinean makes me happy.”

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Solari, who has masterminded Madrid’s rise in fortunes with five wins in their past six games in all competitions is anticipating a big showdown against his former boss.

“I respect him a lot, we have been team-mates and he’s also been my coach at San Lorenzo,” the Madrid coach told reporters.

“It’s a nice experience for me to share things at a professional level. Tomorrow will be a great game and we have to go out to compete hard, that’s what we’ll do and they will do.”

Simeone is set to welcome back captain Diego Godin after he was declared fit for the derby having played a full part in Friday’s training session.

“Tomorrow is a game against a team that is growing since the arrival of Solari,” Simeone said. “They have depth on the wings with Vinicius [Junior], [Gareth] Bale and Lucas Vazquez.

“[Karim] Benzema is fantastic. I think we’re doing a good job even if we could not get what we wanted from the last game against Betis. Tomorrow, I hope we get a great atmosphere ahead of facing our rivals.

“I think we’re good. In the previous matches, we played well. In the clash against Betis, we lacked more depth and verticality, we hope to find it tomorrow.”